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C.J. Cherryh (again!) also wrote a series of books (the Foreigner series) about the interaction of humans with a race of reasonably human-like aliens. The basic driver of the first few books is the premise that the aliens were a bit too human-like, and their language fairly easily understood, such that the humans became overconfident of their "understanding" of the alien culture.

J. Thomas, I believe the Cherryh story you mention is the novella "The Scapegoat".

Cherryh has clearly wrestled with these issues for a while...